Many organizations use satisfaction surveys to keep a pulse on their customers. The objective is to be able to create a numerical measurement with some statistical validation. Surveys have their place but there is another form of customer satisfaction data that is purely qualitative, that is, opened ended, dynamic and flexible. It provides for a greater depth of understanding of your customers, and provides the language the customers use when discussing your products or services. One technique to gather this data is called a focus group.

Fonolo has an interesting application that allows consumers to navigate a company’s voice response menus on a PC or an iPhone, enter a number for a call back and get called back by the next available agent. This front end can be implemented without changing an organization’s entire system. Customers may like the alternative to waiting on hold, increasing customer satisfaction and agents may be more productive handling problems they are trained for , without having to transfer customers.

One of the biggest problems with satisfaction surveys is that many customers won’t fill them in. Many surveys are boring, asking too many detailed questions and consumers get bothered too often. Internet and mobile technology allow for new methods of engaging customers. Here are some of the old techniques I have seen recently in surveys I have completed, followed by some new techniques you might not have considered. My thanks to Qualtrics for demonstrating these new survey and market research techniques and allowing me to use excerpts from their demo materials in this post.

There was a time when obtaining survey data was a difficult process, often manual or requiring the use of agencies. Today there is a large variety of survey options to choose from. This article covers some of the features to look for and 36 tools currently available for surveys and polls that can be conducted on the web, social media and mobile devices.

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